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WB 'Going Male' on Thursday Nights

The network moves 'The Mountain' to a new slot rather than compete against 'The O.C.' for female audiences.

June 09, 2004|Meg James | Times Staff Writer

Like a shy boy at the high school dance, the WB network on Tuesday said it would just hang out with the guys rather than approach the girls -- at least on lucrative Thursday nights.

The younger-skewing WB network confirmed that it would withdraw its ski resort drama, "The Mountain," from the competitive 8 p.m. Thursday time slot rather than vie for a female audience likely to be watching two other shows, the new "Friends" spin-off comedy "Joey" on NBC and Fox Broadcasting Co.'s "The O.C."

The WB said it wanted to shield the freshman show from the competition by moving it to 9 p.m. Wednesday. Network executives concede they had been worried that much of the potential audience for the family dynasty show, which has been dubbed the "The Snow C," would be tuned in to Fox for "The O.C."

WB Chief Executive Jordan Levin said his network would air two shows appealing to men: "Blue Collar TV" with Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and "Larry the Cable Guy" and, at 8:30 p.m., "Drew Carey's Green Screen," the comic's new improv show.

"Going male in that hour makes some sense," Levin said. If his network's gambit pays off, "advertisers are going to be thrilled because that's the audience they are trying to reach on Thursday night to advertise their movies for the weekend."

The WB is owned by Time Warner Inc. and Tribune Co., which publishes the Los Angeles Times. Time Warner's Warner Bros. Television studio produces "Joey," "The O.C." and "The Mountain."

Even in its new time slot "The Mountain" will compete with Warner Bros.-produced shows: "The West Wing" on NBC; a new John Goodman comedy for CBS called "Center of the Universe"; and "The Bachelor" on ABC, produced by Warner unit Telepictures Production.

Warner Bros. is producing as many as 25 shows for next season, more than any other television studio. Warner Bros. Television President Peter Roth declined to comment on the WB's decision.

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